Buffalo Bills face new challenge entering season with playoff expectations

(Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images) /

The Buffalo Bills seem to be a team on the rise and with that comes a new set of challenges as they must learn to manage expectations.

The ingredients all seem to be there for the Buffalo Bills as they are a team on the rise. They have stability in the front office with GM Brandon Beane and on the sideline with head coach Sean McDermott. They bring back almost their entire starting defense from last year, a unit that finished second in the league in yards allowed.

On the offensive side of the ball, they were active this offseason to give second-year quarterback Josh Allen a supporting cast that plays to his strengths.

The stability of the organization and the talent on the roster has made the Bills a bit of a favorite for media personalities to pick as a playoff contender. Adam Rank of NFL.com recently wrote about the Bills in his State of the Franchise:

"The AFC seemingly starts every year with 15 teams playing for five playoff spots. But the Bills have the talent to compete for one of those spots. None of their offseason moves were super-high profile like getting OBJ or something. But I really do believe the offensive additions were kind of low-key good and this team could surprise people."

Meanwhile, Michael Robinson is even more optimistic and recently said on NFL Network that the Bills could compete with the New England Patriots for the division title. It has been over 20 years since the franchise accomplished that.

This is uncharted territory for Sean McDermott even though this is his third year as the Bills’ head coach. The first season McDermott entered with a little bit of leeway being this was his first head coaching job. He certainly exceed expectations leading the team to their first playoff berth in 17 years.

Then this past season, the expectations still weren’t really there even though they were coming off a playoff appearance. It was no secret that the team was shedding salary and had a rookie quarterback under center.

Over the past two years, Bills’ fans have heard about the process and the team even filed to trademark ‘Respect the Process’. Well this is the first year, that there is expectations of seeing a return on that process.

The Bills’ coaching staff will need to make sure that the locker room doesn’t buy into the media hype. They must continue to hammer home the point that they still have not won anything yet and there is plenty of work ahead.

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The excuses from the first two seasons under McDermott and Beane are gone. It is now time to see the results from the foundation built under this regime.